As the countdown to cannabis legalization creeps closer and closer, so too do the questions about where you be will be able to consume it.
Less than a week ago, the provincial government announced the type of fines a person would face for the improper use of recreational marijuana — a range of anywhere from $200 to $2,250 for violations once weed is legalized in October.
For some in Saskatchewan though, these rules remain a little hazy. On Oct. 17, you will be able to legally light up at your home but recreational pot will not be permitted at a park, a playground or even while pitching a tent.
“We have our bylaw and we simply layered cannabis onto our smoking bylaw which also includes vaping,” said Saskatoon city Coun. Darren Hill.
In Saskatoon, anywhere you’re not allowed to smoke or vape, a person won’t be able to spark up some marijuana either.
“Sporting facilities, every civic facility is smoke-free so those areas would be prohibited,” Hill added.
“The province has come in with their own regulations and guidelines now. I believe it’s very straightforward — it’s just not in public.”
According to Dale Tesarowski, executive director of Corporate Initiatives, Performance and Planning with the Ministry of Justice, that’s exactly what residents in this province can expect.
“Not being in your backyard would be a public venue, being in a smoking lounge in a restaurant would be illegal for consuming cannabis.”
In the province’s eyes, even a designated smoking area outside of a venue is still in public. To make things a little less cloudy, think of a joint like an open bottle of gin.
“Generally speaking, that’s what we tried to model cannabis on is alcohol with a certain extent, tobacco,” Tesarowski explained.
By next summer, cannabis consumption should be crystal clear.
“I remember when the City of Saskatoon passed the smoking bylaw. They were the first municipality in Canada to be that restrictive in smoking,” Hill said.
“I was a smoker then and you know, you learn really fast and I think that the cannabis consumers are going to learn really fast where they can and cannot smoke.”
A person won’t be allowed to possess more than 30 grams of dried pot at any given time. Plus, expect some educational reinforcements on weed to be rolled out by both the province and feds by the fall during what officials call “this time of social transformation.”
“One of the things to remember right now is cannabis is still illegal,” Tesarowski said.
“It’s going to be illegal until Oct. 17 and even after for people that are of a certain age, who have more than a certain amount, it will continue to be illegal.”